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Old soul
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Mike, this does not jive with the science. All you have to do is look at any of the recent climate assessments or IPCC reports comparing emissions scenarios to see that our decisions today impact the relatively near term future -- I plan on living at least a couple of decades more. Sure the changes become larger as you look at longer time horizons, but there are substantial differences in the next couple of decades between RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 for instance.
I’ll look them up. My recollection is that the latest report shows we’re already locked into 1.5C rise, and that is wildly optimistic. Even 2C is very optimistic, and there is much research to indicate we’re likely locked into 3C or more.

Regardless, we are locked into a certain temperature rise. There is nothing we can do short of significantly de-carbonizing the atmosphere, and no one knows how to do that. Even at 1.5C the impacts are real (they are real already).
 

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I’ll look them up. My recollection is that the latest report shows we’re already locked into 1.5C rise, and that is wildly optimistic. Even 2C is very optimistic, and there is much research to indicate we’re likely locked into 3C or more.

Regardless, we are locked into a certain temperature rise. There is nothing we can do short of significantly de-carbonizing the atmosphere, and no one knows how to do that. Even at 1.5C the impacts are real (they are real already).
Full agreement here. You are right that we are locked into significant warming already -- avoiding 1.5 or 2C warming is wildly optimistic -- and those impacts are meaningful. My point was simply the difference between business as usual and lower emission pathways will reduce the necessary level of adaptation in our lifetime -- not just our grandchildren. You are of course correct that the bulk of the change comes later.
 

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The mathematical problem is that no one can show it will in fact keep warming to 2 instead of 3 degrees.
Just some quick thoughts:

The best available science has provided estimates for the emissions pathway necessary to keep anthropogenic warming below various thresholds -- we may disagree on the strength of the best available science, but it is what we have to go on. In one way I agree with you: if you look at the uncertainty distribution, we are more likely to be underestimating future warming than overestimating -- hence we cannot say that a particular path will be enough. Where it appears we disagree is I interpret that to mean we need to be more proactive, not less.
 

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.... Where it appears we disagree is I interpret that to mean we need to be more proactive, not less.
Proactive to adapt, for sure.

The house is burning. It needs 1000 gallons of water just to delay it's burning to the ground, it can't be stopped. We have 2 gallons and are proactively trying to put 4 gallons on it. That's the best analogy I can give of my point.

Better get out. Rather than spend all of our time and money on the extra water, spend it on an exit plan. Adapt.

Actually, I'm beginning to hear discussions on NPR that are trending toward my point and are less focused on being able to "stop" climate change. Stopping it and reversing it were mainstream Global Warming talking points just a handful of years ago. Most (who accept climate is changing) are coming to realize that isn't going to happen.
 

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Old soul
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Full agreement here. You are right that we are locked into significant warming already -- avoiding 1.5 or 2C warming is wildly optimistic -- and those impacts are meaningful. My point was simply the difference between business as usual and lower emission pathways will reduce the necessary level of adaptation in our lifetime -- not just our grandchildren. You are of course correct that the bulk of the change comes later.
Well, I guess it depends on how old each of us is today ;).

A good analogy is that of a braking train, or even better, a slowing container ship. If there is a pending collision, throwing the engines into reverse may not avert the hit, but it’s still worth the effort b/c it will make the impact less.

I disagree with the position that says we’re already doomed, so why bother do anything to reduce our current contribution of green house gasses. But I think it’s important to recognize that we’re going to collide (to carry on my analogy). How hard is still up to us.
 

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Well, I guess it depends on how old each of us is today ;).

A good analogy is that of a braking train, or even better, a slowing container ship. If there is a pending collision, throwing the engines into reverse may not avert the hit, but it’s still worth the effort b/c it will make the impact less.

I disagree with the position that says we’re already doomed, so why bother do anything to reduce our current contribution of green house gasses. But I think it’s important to recognize that we’re going to collide (to carry on my analogy). How hard is still up to us.

Mike, I don't mean to drag this out, since you and I are in clear agreement, but I think it is easier to see the difference with a shorter time axis. The scenarios have diverged by 2040 or so. From IPCC AR5...
 

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Proactive to adapt, for sure.

The house is burning. It needs 1000 gallons of water just to delay it's burning to the ground, it can't be stopped. We have 2 gallons and are proactively trying to put 4 gallons on it. That's the best analogy I can give of my point.

Better get out. Rather than spend all of our time and money on the extra water, spend it on an exit plan. Adapt.

Actually, I'm beginning to hear discussions on NPR that are trending toward my point and are less focused on being able to "stop" climate change. Stopping it and reversing it were mainstream Global Warming talking points just a handful of years ago. Most (who accept climate is changing) are coming to realize that isn't going to happen.
This isn't an either or. No we can't stop it. Yes we have to adapt. But still we can and should reduce it.

RCP8.5, which represents a relatively conservative business-as-usual pathway, predicts warming of ~5C by the end of the century. For comparison, that is roughly the same global mean temperature change as the difference between the last glacial period and this interglacial (which, by the way, happened over thousands of years, not a couple of centuries). In other words, that level of warming means a dramatically different world. Personally, I think it would be foolhardy to put all our eggs in the adaptation basket.
 

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Old soul
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Mike, I don't mean to drag this out, since you and I are in clear agreement, but I think it is easier to see the difference with a shorter time axis. The scenarios have diverged by 2040 or so. From IPCC AR5...
Actually, I was looking for this shorter term graph, but missed it. Thanks.

Like I say, it’s clear that we should start today to make changes (we should have started 30 years ago when serious alarm bell were already ringing). But I also think it’s important that we be honest and clear. We are locked into a certain amount of climate change consequence, and there’s not much we can do about it in the short to medium term.

One of the things that irks me about so much of the environmental messaging is how they lay out the risks and predicted dangers, but then always put a pollyanna spin on the message in the end. People are left with this juvenile notion that if we all just change a few lightbulbs, or recycle some paper and plastic, that everything will be ok. And more importantly, none of us has to change our lifestyles or our consumption rates.

Bullcocky.

To achieve RCP4.5 requires significant changes on our part. And that means we must use less, and live smaller. But this is something few of us are even willing to contemplate, let alone act on. I see a lot of discussion, and a few focused success stories, but mostly I see business as usual here in the developed world — most especially here in North America.
 

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Captain Obvious
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Even in the midst of our current orgy of full on carbon emissions, plastic pollution and consumerism - CPAC is screaming that " they" are going to take away all cows, cars, airplanes etc. So, if total capitulation to greed doesn't get us peace and harmony, then politeness and compromise aren't going to either. I think future generations will quite correctly judge this generation extremely harshly, on the level with the segregationists,exploiters and conspiracy nuts of the past, or at best as moral equivalents of " good Germans" prior to WW2. We see the disaster coming, but we don't do anything about it. Of course we wish we could politely convince everyone, but that isn't possible. We can probably drag most of them along. Minne is an example of a person slowly and incrementally agreeing. And he is right that this probably isn't a productive conversation here.

But - nationally, the sooner we realize that we have to just confront this issue, and all the subterfuge and deniers, the better off we will all be.
 

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Living the dream
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Even in the midst of our current orgy of full on carbon emissions, plastic pollution and consumerism - CPAC is screaming that " they" are going to take away all cows, cars, airplanes etc. So, if total capitulation to greed doesn't get us peace and harmony, then politeness and compromise aren't going to either. I think future generations will quite correctly judge this generation extremely harshly, on the level with the segregationists,exploiters and conspiracy nuts of the past, or at best as moral equivalents of " good Germans" prior to WW2. We see the disaster coming, but we don't do anything about it. Of course we wish we could politely convince everyone, but that isn't possible. We can probably drag most of them along. Minne is an example of a person slowly and incrementally agreeing. And he is right that this probably isn't a productive conversation here.

But - nationally, the sooner we realize that we have to just confront this issue, and all the subterfuge and deniers, the better off we will all be.
Actually, blame your great grandparents and grandparents generation. They invented the car, the plane and other fossil fuel modes of transport. In the process they ripped out green transport like trolley bushes and trams and horse drawn carts and set up the current fossil fuel powered transportation system that we are stuck with today. They even switched from high density urban housing to suburbs meaning that the vast majority of the Western world needs to own or otherwise use fossil fuel powered transport just to go about their daily lives. And then they need to consume additional gobs of power to run their oversized homes whilst consuming, consuming, consuming because our great grandparents and grandparents invented mass marketing and consumerism, too.

We're just the meat in the sandwich. We really are. We can't even claim to be the first generation to be aware of the issue. This was known a century ago. And we can't claim to be the generation to fix it because we don't have the technology to do so. The only sure fire fix is to turn of the lights, reset average life expectancy to 30 and return to caves.

Unless "we" want to do that (I certainly don't) adapting is the only way to move forward until the appropriate technologies are (if ever) developed.

Sent from my SGP521 using Tapatalk
 

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Captain Obvious
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We live in the Information Age where all of human knowledge is at our fingertips. We have solar power and wind power, and for a while natural gas. There is no excuse.

So, I don't see it as blaming our grandparents who never had those things as much as our government and quasi state media ( Fox News) that uses ignorance and turns our fellow citizens against us.
 

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Old soul
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...We're just the meat in the sandwich. We really are. We can't even claim to be the first generation to be aware of the issue. This was known a century ago. And we can't claim to be the generation to fix it because we don't have the technology to do so.
It’s true that climate science first began ringing the alarm bells more than 50 years ago (1956 when Keeling measures the rise in CO2). But as with all good science, they began softly and cautiously at first. By the late 80s however, there was a clear picture of what was going on. And there was a growing agreement ACROSS ALL SOCIETAL LINES that action needed to be taken.

It was at this point that the issue got intertwined with political identity, first in the USA, which then spreading around the developed world. Of course, it was not by accident that this happened. It was purposely fed by the masters of misdirection and misinformation, funded and supported by the industries at risk.

It was only then that political controversy became the driving force, or rather the stalling force. Until then all political sides were substantively in agreement as to the nature of the issue, and what needed to be done. But once the money started flowing from the fossil fuel industry, it suddenly became a controversy.

So if you’re looking for a generation or a group to blame, this is a good point in history to use.

But I don’t think blame is very productive or useful. Regardless of the past, we all face the reality of anthropogenic climate change NOW. We can’t change the past, all we can do is affect the future.

The only sure fire fix is to turn of the lights, reset average life expectancy to 30 and return to caves. Unless "we" want to do that (I certainly don't) adapting is the only way to move forward until the appropriate technologies are (if ever) developed.
And here’s where the rubber really meets the road. We do have the ability to achieve RCP2.6, but it would require significant reduction in the resource use of those of us who use the most. I don’t think there is any scenario which would require us to reduce our "life expectancy to 30 and return to caves” — that is unhelpful hyperbole. But it is true that you and I, and likely everyone reading this, would need to reduce our lifestyle quite significantly.

I appreciate your honesty: you don’t want to do this. I actually think this is a perfectly legitimate response. I don’t agree with it, but I think it is one response that our societies can make. I just wish everyone were as honest as you.

ADD: I just came across this clip from the recent DAVOS meetings. I don’t agree with all aspects of this presentation, but it speaks to the honesty in which I would like ALL sides to use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjsLm5PCdVQ&frags=pl,wn
 

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It’s true that climate science first began ringing the alarm bells more than 50 years ago (1956 when Keeling measures the rise in CO2). But as with all good science, they began softly and cautiously at first. By the late 80s however, there was a clear picture of what was going on. And there was a growing agreement ACROSS ALL SOCIETAL LINES that action needed to be taken.
For the sake of clarity, the bells started ringing far before Keeling.

Fourier had described what became known as the greenhouse affect by 1824, and wrote papers on human's ability to change it by 1827. By 1896, Arrhenius had predicted the temperature impacts of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 -- in remarkable agreement with current estimates considering how little he was working with -- and sounded alarms about coal usage.

That being said, I agree with the rest of your points.
 

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Discussion Starter #274
The part I don’t get from Minnie’s posts is he’s an obviously an intelligent guy. Every time in my life when I switched from a high footprint object to a low or at least lower footprint solution I’ve been quite pleased by the lower operating costs and improvement in quality of life.
Be it a better HERS rating with better windows and insulation or better mpg car or better appliances or whatever I use in my day to day.
Similarly getting no utilities bills but rather a paycheck quarterly from them has been nice.
I like my sailboat. Yes I’m no martyr and use the AC on her time to time. But she’s taken me to many countries and back and forth to the US with rare engine noise.
Same with farming. Artificial fertilizers are expensive, per pound of protein beef is very expensive. Down here been eating goat, octopus, chicken, duck, lamb and fish. Tasty and way cheaper. The beef in the Caribbean sucks which is the initial reason we buy it very rarely.
That’s the thing with a bit of thought there’s no hardship to going to a more sustainable lifestyle.
If you travel a bit sure you have many places that don’t have the resources to take the first step. Dominica and other islands burn their garbage. We spent some time there at a orphanage with other salty dawgs. It’s tragic. But much of the world is leaving the good old USA behind. They are actively switching to sustainable solutions. Our children will live in a less competitive country and pay the penalty economically unless we get our act together and start engineering and executing these technologies. It will be like the country living in the steam engine world when the rest are zipping around with gas and electricity.
Look where you go to buy solar, which auto companies are switching their fleet in large percentage to electric, who using hydro, who has sensible building codes. Wake up Minnie don’t be a Luddite. We need the switch for economic reasons as well as the environment.
 

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The part I don’t get from Minnie’s posts is he’s an obviously an intelligent guy. Every time in my life when I switched from a high footprint object to a low or at least lower footprint solution I’ve been quite pleased by the lower operating costs and improvement in quality of life........

Wake up Minnie don’t be a Luddite. We need the switch for economic reasons as well as the environment.
Out, sort of on the rude side for you. I'm surprised.

I'm also surprised you see my point so narrowly. I've specifically encouraged adoption of these new technologies for the sake of air quality and agree that economic reasons are just fine too. Why do you miss that?

However, I see no math that says they are going to head off climate change!! I see no way we are going to get the planet to pull off the kind of reduction necessary to affect the climate soon enough. What I'm hoping for is that everyone else wakes up and realizes we need to adapt to a future, where the climate is going to change. To be rude myself, I find it self-indulgent and arrogant that people extol wind and solar and drive hybrids and pat each other on the back and proclaim they have a superior understanding of the climate science and these things will fix the problem. Do them for other reasons, but the real waste of time has been the distraction that they are going to head off climate change. You do realize that China emits more CO than the US and EU combined. Then, the US, EU and China combined are only half the planet's human emissions. The math doesn't work. By focusing so heavily on mitigation, we're leaving the task of adaptation to our children. Adaptation is going to take well more than seawalls. It's going to change world power. Please tell me you at least understand my position, because your posts suggest you don't. I'll make no effort to convince you of it.

You even accused me of being a anthropogenic denier, which I've never been, nor claimed. Not even in the posts you've referenced. I think it's also destructive, limited and useless to simply look for others to blame.
 
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If humans are part of the problem... then then need to be part of the solution. I don't think humans are unwilling to adapt... they have no choice. One way is to reconsider development of property along the ocean and wet lands. Fire Island is not a sustainable or sensible place for homes. They will be reclaimed by the sea long before the ice caps grow and ocean level drop.

Civilization concentrated along the ocean because of commerce. Transport of goods and people using water was the most efficient / economical. We still use the sea for transport of almost all products from continent to continent and even within one nation. This will likely not change and so if / when oceans rise the mercantile system will have to adapt... and they will.

Can humans change their behaviors enough to lessen their impact on the atmosphere and the oceans? I think so... but it will be a very long time scale process not unlike climate changing. No reason not to do something. Makes no sense to take the approach that natural climate cycles occur regardless so don't bother to do anything.

Air has been cleaned up in many big cities by humans reversing their former bad behavior. And that's good.

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/...kLIITdr28K0jjaXkGU6QV7tNjcW6RxcTwV76Rns_MuYUU
 

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Captain Obvious
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There were very valid arguments against all large scale human advancements. I'm going out of my way to avoid provocative moral examples right now, although climate change is a moral issue. In terms of technical arguments, the push back against automobiles, from people who could not see that horses were doomed as a transport mode. They had many good points about the safety of horses versus cars. Wrong side of history, guys. Jane Jacobs versus Robert Moses. Robert Moses was at the top of his game and had every logical argument when Jane Jacobs defeated him. But he was on the wrong side morally and otherwise and history has not been kind to him. In 1963 when Kennedy ordained the moon landing, we did not have all the technological answers. We had computers that ran on mechanical switches and vacuum hoses, all the computers of NASA combined had less power than my phone, by an order of magnitude. They shouldn't have been able to do it. But they did.

The climate change issue is the same -once we understand the imperative we have to go forth and set the goal, without all the answers and then use our talents and solve the issues one at a time, with the faith and confidence that let us put a man on the moon.


I don't think I can do any better than this post within this thread and so I'm going out of this thread while I'm on a high note. Ciao!
 

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Discussion Starter #278
Minnie I apologize. But I really enjoy your posts and in general struck by their logic. Still the basic point still holds. Yes we need to take the threat seriously and like the Dutch build infra structure to mitigate the impacts of coastal flooding from storms and sea rise. Even Hoboken sees this. There’s no argument there. But we still need to be forward thinking. When thinking about conversion to a lower carbon society you’re looking at decades. Hell, even putting seatbelts in most cars took that long. We can walk and chew gum. Especially when not walking means we get hit by a truck and chewing gum leads to a more pleasant life.
Simple example is transport. You go to Europe and you can get to the smallest village by train. Public transport actually works. In my local area I can’t use public transport. It’s scheduled times don’t work for me, it’s expensive and all too often doesn’t run. So around Boston thousands of trucks and cars sit idleling. Waste of time, money and huge pollution. Governments response- widen the roads, the big dig etc.
Plastic- beyond the huge increase in sargasso you see plastic. Some islands have banned it where they can. Others not. Yes the amount of garbage on all the islands is unfortunate but there’s an obvious difference between those that have tried to limit petro based plastic and those that haven’t. Minnie won’t back down on the basic point. You can do both mitigate and decrease impact. Makes sense to do both-economically, environmentally and quality of life.
 

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Old soul
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The issue comes down to how much effort we are willing to put into something that has a payoff, at best, many decades down the road. We can make the changes required to achieve carbon stabilization and then slow de-carbonization. But it will require significant changes in how we live, mostly in the developed and developing world.

The issue is not, can we do this. The issues it is, do we want to. As a previous poster put clearly, he is not willing to sacrifice today for the benefit of a distant tomorrow.

We can achieve RPC2.6, but it means significant change in the way we live. If action is taken to show intent, few of us are actually willing to make the changes necessary.

I think humanity will change, but only when the pain for the current generation exceeds the alternative of doing nothing. We’re not there yet — at least not for most of us in rich developed countries. We can continue to insulate ourselves, and we can continue to buy our way out of the growing problem. But this can’t last forever.
 
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